Suggested Events for October 18th-24th, 2014

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As a working mom, I don’t always have the opportunity to make community connections and Hilltown Families provides a needed resource for families like mine that are looking for opportunities to build community… What a great resource!” – AnnMarie D. (Belchertown, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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Bulletin Board

Oct 17

Levellers Press, the publishing wing of Collective Copies, a thirty-year-old worker co-operative in Amherst, Massachusetts, has announced the publication of Building Co-operative Power: Stories and Strategies from Worker Co-operatives in the Connecticut River Valley. There will be a book release reading, signing and celebration on Friday, October 17 at 7 p.m., at Collective Copies’ Off the Common Bookshop at 71 South Pleasant Street, Amherst. At 6 p.m. Levellers Press celebrates its fifth anniversary as a publishing company. The public is invited.

Oct 18

Common School Children’s Carnival takes place on Saturday, October 18, from 10am-2pm in Amherst. (Rain location: Amherst Middle School.) Join the School for an old fashioned, family-friendly event. There will be games, prizes, activities, great food and fabulous entertainment. From Bounce House to Cake Walk to Live Music, there will be something for everyone. Open to the public. Free Admission. The Common School is located at 521 South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. Find out more at www.commonschool.org.

Oct 18

The annual Children’s Fair and Open House will be held at the Montessori School of Northampton on Saturday, October 18, from 11am-3pm at 51 Bates Street, Northampton. This day of fun for families features children’s games and crafts, face painting, bounce house, musical entertainment, food and beverages, Circus Folk Unite!, Northampton Martial Arts, Tom Ricardi & Birds of Prey, and author Jarrett Krosoczka. NEW THIS YEAR!–an obstacle course, a book fair, and an art & craft fair. Tours of the school and information on current openings as well as for Fall 2015 will be available. General admission is free; some activities require purchase of activity tickets at a minimal charge. For more info, call 413-586-4538. www.northamptonmontessori.org

Oct 18 & 25

Two Happenings in the Berkshires! Enchanted CobbleSat Oct 18, 3pm-Dusk. Carve/paint Halloween pumpkins at Bartholomew’s Cobble, plus marshmallows & campfire stories. Your creations come alive along Ledges Trail by their flickering “fire” light. 105 Weatogue Rd Ashley Falls-Sheffield. $15/pumpkin. Also, Hauntings in the GardenSat Oct 25, 11am & 3pm (Rain date Oct 26). Explore Naumkeag Gardens with wacky, magical Royal Frog Ballet. Family-friendly tours blend performance, visual art, music & movement to delight all ages. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge. Sponsored by Trustees of Reservations. Members $10; Nonmembers $15; Children $5. Member family max $20; non-member family max $35. www.ttor.org 413-532-1631 x0 westregion@ttor.org

Open House Oct 19

The Yiddish Book Center will host their annual Community Open House on Sunday, Oct 19 (10am-4pm). On the schedule is a full day of events for all ages. Free & open to public. They have a story performer, public tours, a talk and slide show by Yelena Lembersky entitled The Art of Felix Lembersky: Insights from his Granddaughter in conjunction with the opening of a traveling exhibit on Lembersky’s work, and a welcome/update from Aaron Lansky. And to cap it all off, the Sarah Rose Lazarus Concert features Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi at 2pm. Yosi Kosher Catering will be serving up lunch/snacks. The Yiddish Book Center is located adjacent to Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. For more info & full schedule visit yiddishbookcenter.org. 413-256-4900.

Open House Oct 25

Open House at The Hartsbrook School, Saturday, October 25, 10am to 12noon. Tour their classrooms, meet with teachers, stroll around their beautiful campus. Student work will be on display and current families will be available to answer questions. All ages welcome! The Hartsbrook School is a Waldorf school in the Pioneer Valley. Their program from early childhood through high school integrates academic, artistic, and practical work to awaken clarity of thought, warmth of heart, and strength of purpose. Join them at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org

Open House Oct 25

Smith College Campus School, a coeducational day school enrolling children kindergarten through sixth grade, will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, October 25th from 9:30-11am. All prospective kindergarten through second grade students and their families are welcome! Come explore classrooms, see what their students are learning, and meet teachers, administrators and current parents. For more information about Smith College Campus School or to preregister for the Open House visit online at www.smith.edu/sccs or call the admission office at 413-585-3270. Smith College Campus School is located at 33 Prospect St. in Northampton, MA. There will be another kindergarten through sixth grade open house in January.

Oct 25

Halloween Chills & Thrills at the Springfield Museums (21 Edwards St.) on Saturday, October 25th, from 10am-5pm. Bring the family and come enjoy a full day of spooky art and science activities plus live animal demonstrations, special planetarium shows, and more! Two great performances are free with museum admission – there’s The Garbage Monster and Other Songs by Tom Knight Puppets (11am, Wood Museum – designed for ages 2-5, but all are welcome) and Strings on Stage by The Wayne Martin Puppets (2pm, Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum). For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Oct 25

The first-ever OnTrend Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, October 25 at the brand new Hadley Farms Meeting House in lovely Hadley, MA. The fair will showcase talented indie crafters and makers of all kinds from throughout New England and New York. Shoppers with find high-quality handmade jewelry, paper goods, wood crafts, home goods, and much more. Bring your holiday shopping lists and support our talented local artisans! Free to attend. For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at Jennifer@ontrendcrafts.com.

Open House Oct 26

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, October 26, with presentations beginning at 1pm. Meet students, teachers and current parents and get a feel for their creative and rigorous academic program and warm, ethical community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, competitive athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. Their students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 18th-24th, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Come join Chicago’s Little Miss Ann as she shares some of her favorite “nature” songs that explore different topics like birds, wind, sun, moon, animals, etc. Enjoy songs by many wonderful musicians. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 7 years!

Saturday, October 18, 9am-12noon – PHOTOGRAPHY: “The Exploration of Image Making” is a workshop with photographer Bill Wright and the Alchemy Initiative that takes place at Hilltop Orchards. Bring your smart phone or DSLR camera and enjoy a day of image making, with lessons in light, landscape, and portraiture, as well as the fundamentals of exposure, the rules of composition, manual mode, and more. This workshop would be best for teens or adults who are interested in digital photography and improving their techniques. Registration is required. 508 Canaan Road. Richmond, MA. $$$

Saturday, October 18, 9am-3pm – COSTUME EXCHANGE: As part of Northampton ReUse Art Show, there will be a free Halloween costume exchange taking place. Bring your old costumes, fabric, hats, prom dresses, tuxedos & wigs and find something new-to-you and your kids to wear on Halloween this year! Takes place at Smith Vocational High School. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 9am-4pm – SKI SALE: Bousquet’s 27th Annual Ski Sale takes place October 18 and 19! Come find great deals on winter gear and equipment at this annual event. Looking to get rid of your lightly used gear? Drop it off at the lodge on October 16 or 17 from 6pm-8pm and get money in exchange. 413-442-8316. 101 Dan Fox Drive. Pittsfield, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, October 18, 9am-4pm – CRAFT FAIR: For the 45th year in a row, Bizarre Bazaar takes place in the Berkshires. This community craft fair is a classic fall tradition in the Berkshires, and features local handmade crafts, fine arts, gifts, food, and more. This event is a fundraiser and all proceeds go towards the Brigham Center. Get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping while supporting a good cause. Takes place at the Brigham Center. 413-442-5174. 165 East Street. Pittsfield, MA. >$

Saturday, October 18, 9am-12noon – LITERACY: An autumn story walk happens at DAR State Forest. The morning’s activities will include: an apple snack story time, a fall crown craft, an accessible trail book walk, searches and a  fairy/critter house building project! Each family will also receive a free storybook as gift from the CFCE! Route 112. Goshen, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 9:30am-12:30pm – HIKING: Explore the Appalachian Trail and Upper Goose Pond with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and the Berkshire County Hiking Group. This out and back hike will take you from Route 20 to the Upper Goose Pond Cabin along the Appalachian Trail. This moderate hike is 4.5 miles and would be best for older teens and adults. 413-449-0596. Route 20. Becket, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 10am-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Squirrels and chipmunks are a common sight this time of year. Do you want to learn more about them? Join Mass Audubon at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary for a program all about these unique creatures. Learn about how they store food, look for squirrel middens, pretend to be a squirrel and look for food, and more. Best for ages 4-12. Pre-registration required. 413-584-3009. Main Street. Hampden, MA. $

Saturday, October 18, 10am-12:30pm – ARCHAEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY: Discover local history and archaeology at Historic Deerfield at their Archaeology Day event! In addition to regular museum activities, there will be an archaeology tour of Deerfield Village with Dr. Robert Paynter (UMass Anthropology Department) and a tour of the Old Burying Ground with Claire Carlson (Education Program Coordinator). This is a great opportunity to learn about the fascinating history of Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 10am-1pm – SUSTAINABILITY/CLOTH DIAPERS: Are you looking to get rid of old cloth diapers, or are you looking to find some new ones? Simple Diaper and Linen is holding a Cloth Diaper Swap and Shop! Here you can sell your used cloth diapers (table reservations required), trade with others, or buy new/used diapers. In addition to the Swap and Shop, there will be a cloth diaper workshop at 11:30am. Cloth diapers are a sustainable alternative to disposable diapers, and this is a great place to learn more about them, buy your baby’s very first cloth diaper, or swap and trade with others to update or reduce your collection. 413-749-6232. 418 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 10am-2pm – NATURE STUDIES/CELEBRATION: All ages are invited to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary to celebrate their 70th anniversary with a Fall Forest Quest. The event teaches about the trees, land, and people through games, crafts, and activities for all ages. You can also walk the Trolley Line Trail and explore Mountainview Farm to learn about current farming practices on Arcadia’s land. This is a great chance for the whole family to celebrate Arcadia and learn about this amazing local natural area. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 10am-2pm – CHILDREN’S CELEBRATION: The Common School‘s annual Children’s Carnival is on October 18! Come by for games, prizes, activities, entertainment, a raffle, food, and more. Fun for all ages! 413-256-8989. 521 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 10am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Older students and adults can become immersed in local history with Mass Audubon and historian Mike Whalen on a Hilltown Heritage Hike at Hiram H. Fox State Wildlife Management Area. Explore forgotten homestead sites, local industrial artifacts, early wagon roads, and more, all deep in the forest of Little Canada Hill. Learn about the pioneers that settled the hilltowns and study the natural succession going on as lands transition from farmland to forest. Call to register. 413-584-3009. Worthington, MA. $$

Saturday, October 18, 10am-4pm – SHEEP SHEARING: Visit Winterberry Farm on October 18 for their Fall Sheep Shearing and Fiber Day. There will be demonstrations, including border collies herding ducks, spinning yarn on spindles, spinning yarn on wheels, needle felting, weaving cloth, and angora rabbit grooming and spinning. See the sheep get sheared at 1pm, meet farm animals, and see fiber on display and for sale. This is a great way to learn about wool and its many uses. 413-624-3940. 340 Wilson Hill Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Agawam Rotary Club‘s Harvest Festival is on October 18 at the Veterans’ Green in front of Phelps School. Come to the Festival for fun fall activities for all ages. Bring non-perishable food items to donate to Best Life Food Ministry and get children’s books from the Agawam Family and Community Program. Agawam, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 10am-5pm – SCARECROWS: Families can spend time being creative together at the Atkins Farms scarecrow workshop, every Saturday and Sunday through October 19. All ages can work together to make goofy or spooky scarecrows at this fun workshop! Materials included in cost. 413-253-9528. Route 116 & Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Saturday, October 18, 10am-9pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: October 18 is Franklin County Pumpkinfest! Pumpkinfest features food, games, activities, entertainment, crafts, live music, and more. Fun for the whole family. 413-522-0712. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am – BOOK GROUP: Kindergarteners and first graders who love reading can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s Little Kid Book Club on October 18, November 8, and December 6. Parents/caregivers and their child can attend the book club and enjoy books together. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am-11:30am – ARCHAEOLOGY: Celebrate International Archaeology Day at the Smith College Museum of Art! Join SCMA for a guided tour of the new ancient art gallery, with commentary by field archaeologists. Students with an interest in ancient history and archaeology will love this chance to check out SCMA’s new gallery! 413-585-2760. Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am-11:30am – PARENT-CHILD PROGRAM: The Storrs Library is holding a Dads and Donuts event for kids and their dads. Spend quality time together enjoying coffee, donuts, stories, and crafts. Call to register. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am-12noon – READING/STORYTELLING: Storyteller John Procino presents “Family Adventures in Reading” for ages 6-10 and their parents/caregivers at the Huntington Public Library every Saturday through November 8. Come to the library to hear stories, discuss books, and enjoy healthy treats. Stop by the library to register. 413-667-3506. 7 East Main Street. Huntington, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Chandler’s Restaurant offers a Kids Cooking class for families to explore the art of cooking, proper use of kitchen tools, and raw ingredients that go into delicious dishes! A brief tour of their professional kitchen follows the class. Great way to introduce children to the world of culinary arts! Space is limited, reservations are required 413-665-1277. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($$)

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am-12:30pm – WESTERN MA SCHOOL FAIR: Are you trying to decide which of the local independent schools is best for your child? Then come to the Pioneer Valley Independent School Fair, held at the Bement School’s Kittredge Building. Many local schools, for students in preschool through 12th grade and beyond, will be represented at this event, including Hilltown Families sponsors: The Montessori School of Northampton, The Academy at Charlemont, Bement School, The Center School, The Common School, The Williston Northampton School, and The Hartsbrook School. More information and a full list of schools can be found here. 413-774-7061. 94 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am-2:30pm – DINOSAURS: Discover the fascinating world of dinosaurs with geologist Dan Vellone at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center’s Family Dino Day! There will be exploration stations, arts and crafts activities, dino tracks and bones, a presentation on dinosaurs in the Connecticut River Valley (12noon), and more. The event is geared towards kids ages 4-12, but all are welcome. Call to pre-register. 1-800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC TRADE: Learn about the historic trade of gravestone carving with Karin Sprague at Historic Deerfield. Sprague will demonstrate the art of gravestone carving. Free with museum admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Saturday, October 18, 10:30am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate the opening of Mount Warner with The Trustees of Reservations at a Pumpkin Fest, Tractor Parade, and Dedication Hike on October 18! The day includes tons of fun all-ages activities, like a ribbon cutting, guided hike, and Pumpkin Fest/Tractor Parade at the North Hadley Sugar Shack. There will be games, food, cider and wine tastings, a petting zoo, and a tractor parade. All ages will love this fun fall festival! 413-532-1631 x21. Mount Warner Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 11am – PUPPET SHOW: Come to the Chicopee Public Library for a fun and energetic shadow puppet show with Mr. Vinny. Kids will love this interactive performance! 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 11am-3pm – CHILDREN’S FAIR/OPEN HOUSE: The Montessori School of Northampton is holding their Children’s Fair and Open House on October 18. Tour the school and learn about it, then have some fun at the fair! There will be circus performers, zoo animals, games, crafts, live music, food, a craft fair, and more. 413-348-7503. 51 Bates Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 11am-5:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Are you getting excited for Halloween? Whitney’s Farm Market will be holding Pumpkin Fest every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 26th! Stop by for u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, and much more. Pumpkin Fest is fun for the whole family and will you get into the Halloween spirit. 413-442-4749. 1775 S State Road. Cheshire, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 11am – STEM/PRESCHOOL: Fun with Fall Leaves for preschoolers and their families. Meet at 11am at the Ashfield Farmers Market and end at Belding Library by 12pm. All families with preschool-aged children are invited to a workshop that will begin at the Ashfield Farmers Market, engaging families in activities along the way to the Belding Library on Saturday October 18 from 11 am to noon for a fun-filled hour of hands-on activities and stories with a focus on the science and beauty of leaves in Fall. STEM focuses children’s natural curiosity on pre-scientific discoveries as they have a good time learning about, playing and creating with fall leaves The workshop is free. Please contact Melissa Pincus/CFCE Coordinator to sign up @ 413-625-6194 or mepincus@mohawkschools.org. Town Common. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 12noon – PICNIC: Kids can attend a Teddy Bear Picnic at the Storrs Library! Bring a lunch and blanket and hear bear stories and do a bear art project in the library. Call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 12noon-5pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: The 4th annual Easthampton Harvest Festival features a pumpkin carving contest, a scarecrow competition, food, games, live music, face painting, a pie baking contest, and more. Come by and celebrate pumpkins, fall, and Halloween at this exciting community festival at Nonotuck Park. 413-529-1440. 1 Daley Field Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 12noon-7pm – SPORTS: Cheer on the Amherst Regional High School Hurricanes at their homecoming! See the ‘Canes play in a variety of sports throughout the day, including field hockey, soccer, and volleyball, with a football game under the lights at 7pm. There will also be kids’ activities, face painting, performances by student bands and dance groups, fundraising barbecue, and more. Purchase all day tickets and enjoy a day full of sports! A full list of games can be found on the ARHS website. Proceeds benefit ARHS sports. Amherst, MA. $

Saturday, October 18, 1pm-5pm – REPAIR CAFE/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION:: Do you want to learn more about fixing things? Or do you have a broken item that you would like someone else to fix? Then come to the Pittsfield Repair Cafe, which takes place in the basement of St. Stephen’s Church. Repair Cafes encourage people to repair what they already own, instead of tossing it in the trash and buying a new one, therefore supporting sustainability. They also encourage collaborative consumption, in which people share their skills and services with one another to teach, help, etc. This is the last Repair Cafe of the year, so there will also be a party with live music and food. 67 East Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 1:30pm – READING: The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a Read to Rover event for kids ages 3-9. Young readers can practice reading stories aloud to specially-trained dogs, who offer non-judgmental, non-threatening attention. This is a wonderful opportunity for kids to improve their reading skills and their confidence in reading aloud. Please register in advance. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 2pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is screening a movie for teens today at the library. Come enjoy snacks and an entertaining movie. Registration is required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 2pm-3pm – DIY: Make your own t-shirt scarves at the Sunderland Public Library! Teens and tweens in grades 5-12 can come to the library to make cool scarves out of old t-shirts. Bring a large t-shirt if possible. Call to register. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 2pm-4pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: Learn about local archaeology with Mohawk Trail Regional High School, the Sons and Daughters of Hawley, and Boston University at a presentation on the 2014 archaeological field program that took place at the Sanford Tavern in Hawley. Teacher Ivan Grail will present on “Excavation Learning Goals” and archaeologist Laura Masur will present “Tavern and Community: Archaeology in Hawley.” There will also be an exhibition of artifacts collected during the dig this past August. Students can learn about archaeology on the local level at this event, and can see and hear about the work done by their peers in the field. Route 112. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 2:30pm – PARENT-CHILD PROGRAM: The Storrs Library is holding a workshop for kids ages 6-10 on personal body safety, presented by Volunteer Child Advocates Renee Chisholm and Kristen Pospolita. Call for more information or to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 2:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids can have fun with fall foliage at the Berkshire Co-Op Market’s DIY Painted Leaf Animals project! Come paint on fallen leaves to make them into cute critters! Call to sign up. 413-528-9697 x10. 42 Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 3pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: Learn about archaeology at Western Gateway Heritage State Park‘s “Archaeology: The World Tour (International Archaeology Day)” lecture. 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 3pm & 6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about Holyoke’s history on a cemetery tour with the Wistariahurst Museum and city historian Penni Martorell. Explore Forestdale Cemetery and learn about the history of some of Holyoke’s found families. Best for older students interested in local history. Pre-registration is required. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Saturday, October 18, 3pm-Dusk – PUMPKIN PLAY: Carve your Halloween pumpkins at Bartholomew’s Cobble, plus marshmallows and stories around a campfire. Your creations come alive along Ledges Trail by their flickering “fire” light. 105 Weatogue Rd. Ashley FallS/Sheffield. ($)

Saturday, October 18, 4pm – SCARECROW CONTEST: All ages can participate in the Randall’s Farm & Greenhouse Scarecrow Contest! Get together with family, friends, or your club/group/organization and build a traditional (head, 2 arms, 2 legs) scarecrow to be dropped off at the Farm by 4pm on October 18. Entries automatically receive a gift certificate to the farm and are entered into the contest – scarecrows will be judged on October 19 from 9am-7pm and the winners will be announced on October 22. Participating in the scarecrow contest is a great chance for families to work together on a creative project that all ages can contribute to. 413-589-7071. 631 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 4pm – MUSIC STUDIES: The Mt. Holyoke College Music Department presents a concert by the Mt. Holyoke College Glee Club, Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Orchestra. Each will perform a diverse and dynamic repertoire. Takes place in Abbey Chapel. 413-538-2306. South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 4:30pm & 6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The Chester Railway Station‘s 6th Annual Hobo Harvest Dinner is on October 18. There will be seatings at 4:30pm and 6pm, with delicious home-cooked foods like “trackside beef stew,” corn pudding, rolls, pie, and more. This annual community meal is a great opportunity to spend time with community members while supporting the Railway Station. Call ASAP to make reservations. 413-354-7878. 10 Prospect Street. Chester, MA. $

Saturday, October 18, 5:30pm – HAUNTED HAYRIDE: There are spooky hay rides for all ages at McCray’s Farm this Halloween season! Kids 2 and up can go on a Munchkin Mash Kiddie Hayride from 5:30pm-6:45pm every weekend through Halloween. The Monster Mash Adult Haunted Hayride runs every weekend from 7pm on. See the Fear on the Farm website for more information and prices. 413-533-0775. 55 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. $$

Saturday, October 18, 5:30pm-8:30pm – HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE: Look Park’s train becomes haunted this Halloween season! Kids 5 and up can enjoy this fun and spooky haunted train ride around the park. Cancelled in case of rain. Runs 10/17-10/19 and 10/24-10/26. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. >$

Saturday, October 18, 6pm – CONCERT: Bread Euphoria‘s “Saturday Night Rise” concert series continues tonight with a performance by the Ephemeral String Band. Come get some delicious food and enjoy this concert of traditional American music. 413-268-7757. 206 Main Street. Haydenville, MA.

Saturday, October 18, 6pm-8pm – SPOOKY SAFARI: The Zoo in Forest Park hosts an evening of trick or treat for families in a fun and safe environment. Come in costume and stop around the zoo for sweet treats, games, raffles, prizes, and more. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

Saturday, October 18, DUSK – ASTRONOMY: Want to learn about astronomy first-hand? Join The Trustees of Reservations and the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center for an evening of stargazing and searching for moons, planets, galaxies, and more at Notchview! Please call to pre-register. 413-532-1631 x10. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 18, 7pm – THEATER: Ja’Duke Productions presents a performance of The Addams Family this October. This musical comedy is based on the comic strip, television shows, and film of the same name. Come enjoy this musical about the typical yet unconventional Addams Family! Tickets available in advance. 413-863-0001. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. $

Saturday, October, 18, 7pm-9pm – HAUNTED CORN MAZE: Hicks Family Farm presents “Haunted Nights” weekends in October! Visit their corn maze for a fun and spooky time. Best for ages 12 and up. 413-625-2623. 1255 Route 2. Charlemont, MA. $

Saturday, October 18, 7:30pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: October 18 is the 5th annual Berkshire Drum and Dance Fest! Come to Berkshire Community College’s Boland Theater for an evening of rhythm and dance by many musicians and dancers. This year’s theme is Carnivale! and the Fest is focused on celebratory music from around the world. Some of the featured artists include the Iroko/Nuevo Cuban/Puerto Rican Drum and Dance Ensemble, Berkshire Pulse Drummers and Dancers, Gaia Roots, Marafanyi, Operation Unite, Beat Mob, Fidel Moreno, and many others. There will also be a silent auction and craft marketplace at 7pm. The Fest is a fundraiser for the Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center Raise the Roof project and a super energized way to learn about the different dance and drumming performances from various cultures. More information can be found here. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $-$$)

Saturday, October 18, 8pm – THEATER: The Exit 7 Players present a production of Young Frankenstein, based on the hilarious movie by Mel Brooks, in honor of Halloween. The movie the play is based on is rated PG-13, so this performance may not be appropriate for kids 13 and under. Tickets available in advance. 413-583-4301. 37 Chestnut Street.Ludlow, MA. $$

Saturday, October 18, 8pm – DANCE: Choreographer Kyle Abraham and his ensemble of dancers will perform his newest work, The Watershed, at MASS MoCA‘s Hunter Center on October 18 and 19. The piece commemorates 150 years since Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and 20 years since the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. Older students with an interest in dance can come see this meaningful performance and Abraham’s unique choreography style. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($$-$$$)

Saturday, October 18, 8pm – THEATER: The Academy of Music presents Nobody’s Girl, a screwball comedy about Mildred E. Walker, a woman who worked at the Academy of Music in the 1940s and was promoted to run the theater when manager Frank Shaughnessy was called to serve in World War II. Controversy surrounded the promotion – the Academy’s lessees attempted to fire Walker on the grounds that a woman could not and should not manage a theater. This production, for which the Academy commissioned local playwright Harley Erdman, offers a look into the fascinating past of the Academy, Northampton, and the United States as a whole. This performance would be best for older students and adults interested in local history and theater. Tickets available in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. $$$

Saturday, October 18, 8pm-10pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Hear stories about love and marriage at The Mount’s “Love and Marriage: Storytelling at the Mount,” presented by Speak Up. Storytellers Matthew Dicks, Ophira Eisenberg, Barbara Klau, Alan MacKenzie, and Tom Reed-Swale will tell stories about love lost, love found, and love understood at this storytelling event. What better way to spend date night than hearing stories about love in a beautiful historic setting? Tickets available in advance. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. $$

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Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Ongoing Sunday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see 7 years of archived shows.

Sunday, October 19, TBA – SKILLSHARE: Grow Food Amherst is hosting a workshop with Sarah Shields of Birch Moon Farm and Herbals on Making Herbal Oils, Creams, and Lip Balms. All ages can come learn about salves and herb oils, then make your own! This workshop takes place at All Things Local Cooperative Market. 413-259-3149. 104 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, October 19, 9am-3pm – FESTIVAL: Celebrate fall at Outlook Farm‘s annual Pumpkin Festival! There will be a community craft and tag sale (9am-3pm), a pig roast and barbecue (12noon-3pm), and live music (1pm-3pm). This is a fun community celebration for all ages! 413-529-9388. Route 66. Westhampton, MA.

Sunday, October 19, 10am – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Discover all the Yiddish Book Center has to offer at their free Community Open House on October 19. The Open House features a performance by Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi (2pm), stories for families by Mark Binder (10:30am), the opening of the exhibit Felix Lembersky: Soviet Form, Jewish Context (11:30am), tours (11am & 1pm), and more. The Yiddish Book Center is a great place for all ages to learn about Yiddish language and culture. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 19, 10am-4pm – SKI SALE: Bousquet’s 27th Annual Ski Sale takes place October 18 and 19! Come find great deals on winter gear and equipment at this annual event. Looking to get rid of your lightly used gear? Drop it off at the lodge on October 16 or 17 from 6pm-8pm and get money in exchange. 413-442-8316. 101 Dan Fox Drive. Pittsfield, MA. (SALE)

Sunday, October 19, 10am-5pm – SCARECROWS: Families can spend time being creative together at the Atkins Farms scarecrow workshop, every Saturday and Sunday through October 19. All ages can work together to make goofy or spooky scarecrows at this fun workshop! Materials included in cost. 413-253-9528. Route 116 & Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, October 19, 10:15am-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Come to Westhampton Town Center for the annual Fall Festival! There will be tons of great activities, like a community interfaith church service, a 5K road race/walk, games, crafts, kids’ activities, the Blacksmith Shop Museum, demonstrations, contests, and more. The famous Great Pumpkin Roll takes place at 4:15pm, followed by community supper, bonfire and sing-a long! Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 19, 10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC TRADE: Learn about the historic trades of dressmaking and shoemaking with Linda and Peter Oakley at Historic Deerfield. Free with museum admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Sunday, October 19, 11am – 5K RUN/WALK: The 6th Annual 5K for Farmland takes place October 19 at Hadley’s West Street Common. All ages can participate in either the 5K run or the 2-mile walk. All proceeds help the Kestrel Land Trust preserve farmland. See the 5K for Farmland website for more information and for registration details. 413-549-1097. Hadley, MA. $$

Sunday, October 19, 11am-5:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Are you getting excited for Halloween? Whitney’s Farm Market will be holding Pumpkin Fest every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 26th! Stop by for u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, and much more. Pumpkin Fest is fun for the whole family and will you get into the Halloween spirit. 413-442-4749. 1775 S State Road. Cheshire, MA.

Sunday, October 19, 1pm-2pm – MUSIC STUDIES: In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Springfield Central Library presents a concert by Alturas Duo. This engaging ensemble combines unique sounds and instruments to play South American folk and classical music. All ages will enjoy this concert of unique and beautiful music. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 19, 1-4 pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage
for their October Open House and Family Day. See tools and products manufactured in Franklin County, and a special exhibit on the history of local paper mills. Join in activities to identify and use hand tools manufactured in the region, take a walk on the Green River, and see the hidden Mill Street dam from the the museum’s home in the historic Newell Snow factory building. Your donations support museum programming. 413-336-8275 2 Mead Street. Greenfield, MA (>$)

Sunday, October 19, 2pm – THEATER: The Exit 7 Players present a production of Young Frankenstein, based on the hilarious movie by Mel Brooks, in honor of Halloween. The movie the play is based on is rated PG-13, so this performance may not be appropriate for kids 13 and under. Tickets available in advance. 413-583-4301. 37 Chestnut Street. Ludlow, MA. $$

Sunday, October 19, 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema is screening Laura (1944; not rated), a film noir detective movie directed by Otto Preminger. Students can learn about film noir at this screening. Best for older teens and adults. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, October 19, 2pm – THEATER: Ja’Duke Productions presents a performance of The Addams Family this October. This musical comedy is based on the comic strip, television shows, and film of the same name. Come enjoy this musical about the typical yet unconventional Addams Family! Tickets available in advance. 413-863-0001. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. $

Sunday, October 19, 2pm-3:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/WOMEN’S STUDIES: The Berkshire Museum and the Pittsfield Jazz Festival present a screening of The Girls in the Band at the museum on October 19. The film is about female big band and jazz instrumentalists and their journeys from the 1930s on. These talented women endured sexism, racism, and diminished opportunities despite their talents. Come hear the untold story of women in jazz at this screening. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Sunday, October 19, 3pm – DANCE: Choreographer Kyle Abraham and his ensemble of dancers will perform his newest work, The Watershed, at MASS MoCA‘s Hunter Center on October 18 and 19. The piece commemorates 150 years since Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and 20 years since the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. Older students with an interest in dance can come see this meaningful performance and Abraham’s unique choreography style. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, October 19, 3pm – FILM STUDIES: As part of their Fast Forward Film Series, Historic Northampton presents, “Pioneers: Three Women in Film,” featuring films by Alice Guy-Blache (Falling Leaves, 1912), Maya Deren (Meshes of the Afternoon, 1943), and Agnes Varda (Le Bonheur (Happiness), 1965). These historically significant films will be introduced by Justin West, Professor of Electronic Media at Holyoke Community College, who will provide a historical context for the films. These films would be great for older students interested in film and women’s studies! 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 19, 4pm – POETRY: This month’s installment of the Lenox Library’s Distinguished Lecture Series is “The Brain is Wider Than the Sky: Emily Dickinson,” presented by Cindy Dickinson, Interpretation and Programming Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum. She will present on the poet Emily Dickinson and her life in Amherst in the mid-1800s. Best for older students interested in poetry and local history. 413-637-2630. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 19, 4pm – MUSIC STUDIES: The Mt. Holyoke College Music Department presents a concert by the Mount Holyoke Baroque Ensemble, who will perform the works of JS Bach and friends. Takes place in McCulloch Auditorium. 413-538-2306. Lower Lake Road. South Hadley, MA.

Sunday, October 19, 5:30pm-8pm – COMMUNITY SING & DINNER: Earthdance is holding a community sing (5:30pm) and potluck (7pm) tonight! Penny Schultz, Earthdance co-founder, brings community members together through song. This event is open to all ages, engaging children in music and singing in an intergenerational environment. 413-634-5678. 252 Prospect Street. Plainfield, MA. (>$/SUGGESTED DONATION)

Sunday, October 19, 5:30pm-8:30pm – HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE: Look Park’s train becomes haunted this Halloween season! Kids 5 and up can enjoy this fun and spooky haunted train ride around the park. Cancelled in case of rain. Runs 10/17-10/19 and 10/24-10/26. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. >$

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Monday, October 20th, 2014

Monday, October 20, 10am – DANCE: All-Stars Dance Center is offering a “Terrific Tiny Tots” dance class for ages 1-3 at the Westfield Athenaeum on October 20. Young children can have fun learning acrobatics, jazz, and ballet. Registration is required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, October 20, 3pm & 6pm – MOVIE: The S. White Dickinson Memorial Library is screening The Fault in Our Stars (2014; rated PG-13) on October 20. The film is based on the novel of the same by John Green, which is about a teen couple who meet in a cancer support group. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Monday, October 20, 4pm-5pm – LANGUAGE STUDIES: Kids in grades 4-6 can learn Mandarin Chinese in a four-week session at the East Longmeadow Public Library. The first meeting is on October 20, and participants will learn basic conversation skills, will engage in language-building role play activities, learn about Chinese culture, and learn to read and write Chinese characters. Please register in the children’s department. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.

Monday, October 20, 6pm – HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: Families can join Forbes Library for a Halloween celebration on October 20! Come in costume and enjoy games, activities, snacks, and spooky fun. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, October 20, 6pm – LOCAL HISTORY/TEXTILES: Learn about the textile industry and local history at the Wistariahurst Museum’s “Threads that Bind” lecture series. This week, Betsy McKee will present “Textiles in the Connecticut River Valley: Weaving Stories.” Learn how New Englanders of the past created their everyday textiles and see examples of textile tools. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Monday, October 20, 7pm – GHOSTS: Join the Pelham Historical Society for Ghostology 101 with Agawam Paranormal. Learn about the differences between ghosts and spirits, the history of paranormal investigation, and more. Older students who want to learn more about ghosts and the paranormal will enjoy this presentation! Takes place in the Pelham Library. 413-253-1601. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA.

ONGOING FOR MONDAY (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group on Mondays. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational activity to do with young homeschoolers. Runs most Mondays. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday at 10am for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE for “Fun on the Farm” every Monday at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. 413-499-4809. 780 Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Monday at the Williamstown Youth Center. 413-664-4821. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – AGRICULTURE: Kids ages 4 and under can explore farm life at Red Gate Farm every Monday through November 17. Come learn about and meet the farm’s plants and animals and participate in hands-on activities. Call to sign up no later than noon on the Sunday prior. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. >$
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Come to Books and Babies at the East Longmeadow Public Library every Monday. Kids ages 2 and under can hear stories, see fingerplays, and have fun together. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers can attend Music for Little Ones at the Pelham Library every Monday. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Storrs Library offers a drop-in playgroup for kids ages 3 and under every Monday morning. Come hear a story, sing songs, and enjoy free play. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: Every Monday at 11am, Moo-Licious Farm will offer an educational show for kids. Call for more info. 413-569-1700. 258 Feeding Hills Road. Southwick, MA.
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT GROUP: Mothers of infants and young children, as well as expectant moms, can come to the Hilltown Village Mothers’ Group every Monday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood and share your experiences in this supportive group environment. Childcare is available for kids up to age 4; infants in arms are welcome. The group follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-522-9732. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA.
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm – CHESS: Students in grades 2 and up can come to an afterschool chess club every Monday at the Storrs Library. All levels are welcome to come learn new strategies and have fun playing with peers. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-7pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday evening for a drop-in craft activity! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-7:30pm – SPORTS: Kids and adults 12 and up can come play pickup soccer at Pettingill Park in Cummington. All experience levels welcome. Runs until the snow falls. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – KNITTING: All skill levels can attend a knitting group at the Westhampton Public Library every Monday evening. Come learn and share tips and tricks with knitters of all ages and levels. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-7pm – STORYTIME: Kids can unwind at the end of the day at the Montague Center Library‘s weekly evening storytime. Kids are welcome to come to the storytime in their pajamas. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$

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Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2:30pm-4pm – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: First and second graders can come to the Hatfield Public Library‘s Library Club Jr. on October 21, 22, and 23. Get picked up from school and enjoy hands-on activities relating to art (10/21), science (10/22), and storytelling (10/23). Call the library for more information or to register. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 21, 3pm – COMICS: Comic fans ages 12-17 can attend a Manga Workshop with Andy and Veronica Fish at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Here you can learn about comics, drawing characters, and storytelling. Call to register. 413-525-5400 x1511. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 21, 3:45pm-5pm – CRAFTS: Kids can craft their own toys at the Jones Library! Come get creative and build your own toy at this hands-on activity. Registration is required. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 21, 4pm – BOOK GROUP: Join The Westfield Athenaeum for a kids book discussion group on Jim Murphy’s The Great Fire. Youth in grades 3-5 can come discuss the book and play relevant games. This is a great chance for kids to do some outside-of-school reading while interacting with their peers in a discussion group. Please register in advance. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 21, 6:30pm – LITERACY: Kids ages 5-10 can improve their reading aloud skills by reading to Hachi the Listening Dog at the Jones Library. Dogs are great audiences for young readers because they are a nonjudgmental audience. Call or stop by the children’s desk to sign up for a 20-minute time slot. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 21, 6:30pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: In order to celebrate their 20th anniversary, the Deerfield River Watershed Association is offering a free talk on the archaeology of the Deerfield River Valley over the past 10,000 years. New England archaeologist and chair of the UMass Amherst Anthropology Department, Elizabeth Chilton, will present archaeological evidence from pre-Colonial and Colonial times. Some questions she will address include: How were lands managed for food production? What role did the river play in cultural and economic life? The talk takes place at Four Rivers Charter School. 248 Colrain Road. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 21, 7pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema is screening Laura (1944; not rated), a film noir detective movie directed by Otto Preminger. Students can learn about film noir at this screening. Best for older teens and adults. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE every Tuesday for a playgroup at Egremont Elementary School. 413-499-4809. Pittsfield, MA.
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at theDickinson Memorial Library with Deb Wood features fun toys and more! Every Tuesday. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Tuesday for storytime! Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Tuesday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Parents and babies can come to the Jones Library for “Sing with Your Baby,” every Tuesday through November 18. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a Brain Builder Play and Learn Group at the Mason Library every Tuesday. Kids ages birth to age 5 can come read, sing, play, and talk, with a focus on STEM concepts and early literacy. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Lenox Library is offering a storytime for toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years every Tuesday. This storytime follows the school district schedule. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library is holding a baby and toddler playtime every Tuesday. Come to the library and meet other kids and parents. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees on Tuesdays especially for people with babies! This is a great chance to get out and see a movie without having to worry about finding a sitter. Check their website to see what’s playing each week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. >$
  • 5:30pm & 6:30pm – KARATE: Free shotokan karate classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at Northfield Elementary School. There are two classes – one for 7-10 year olds (5:30pm-6:15pm) and one for teens and adults (6:30pm-7:30pm). More info available here. 802-451-0303. 104 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Tuesday evening at the Greylock Apartments’ Community Room for children walking age to age 5. 413-664-4821. Angeli Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: It’s Pajama Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Wear your pajamas and enjoy stories and fun. Happens the second Tuesday of each month. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Tuesday evening for storytime with Jason. This program includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and more. 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 10am – FALL FUN: Join the Easthampton Family Center for their annual trip to The Great Pumpkin Patch at Fletcher Farm on October 22. Kids can pick their own pumpkin, visit the animal pens, go on a hayride, and have fun with a coloring book. Call to RSVP. 413-527-5496. Gunn Road. Southampton, MA. >$ (Postponed: Monday, Oct 27, 10am)

Wednesday, October 22, 10am – FALL FUN: Families with children ages 2-5 can join the Family Resource Center for pumpkin picking at Whitney’s Farm. Call to register. 413-664-4821. 1775 South State Road. Cheshire, MA.

Wednesday, October 22, 10am-12:30pm – HIKING: Explore the Berkshire Natural Resources Council‘s new trail at Clam River! This easy 1.5-mile hike takes you along the new trail to the Clam and Buck Rivers. 413-449-0596. Route 57. Sandisfield, MA.

Wednesday, October 22, 2:30pm-4pm – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: First and second graders can come to the Hatfield Public Library‘s Library Club Jr. on October 21, 22, and 23. Get picked up from school and enjoy hands-on activities relating to art (10/21), science (10/22), and storytelling (10/23). Call the library for more information or to register. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 22, 3pm – HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: It’s a Halloween Spooktacular at the Chicopee Public Library! Kids ages 3-12 can stop by for crafts and games. Don’t forget to wear your costume! 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 22, 4pm – BOOK GROUP: Kids in first and second grade can attend a Book Worms Reading Group at the Westfield Athenaeum on October 22. Come read My Father the Dog, by Elizabeth Bluemle, together and then do related activities. Registration is required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 22, 4pm-5pm – GAMES: Minecraft fans can come play together at the Forbes Library‘s Minecraft Club! Bring your login and a laptop if possible, and have fun playing Minecraft with others. Registration is required. 413-587-1010. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 22, 5pm-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Northampton Public Schools, Northampton/Hadley CFCE, Sunnyside Child Care, Northampton Parents Center, and Northampton Area Pediatrics have come together to offer a series of free Parent Cafés for parents and guardians of young children in the Northampton area. Families will eat dinner together, then children are cared for while parents meet for the Café. Here parents can discuss all aspects of parenting and gather support from one another as they face the challenges of raising children. Parent Cafés are great for parents because they provide a supportive and welcoming environment in which to discuss and learn about parenting. Childcare and dinner are provided. The Cafés occur on October 15 and 22. Call or email emailbblack@northampton-k12.us to register or for more info. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 22, 6pm-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a three-part parent cafe at the South Hadley Public Library on October 22, 29, and November 5. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers of children birth to kindergarten age can attend the parent cafes, which are designed to bring parents together to share thoughts, advice, ideas, and parenting strategies. Free childcare is available. Registration is required. 413-586-4998 x102. 2 Canal Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 22, 7pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Amherst Cinema is screening Stop Making Sense (1984; rated PG), a concert movie of Talking Heads, filmed over three nights in December 1983. This screening is a great chance for Talking Heads fans to see the group perform at their peak on the big screen. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

Wednesday, October 22, 7pm-9pm – FOOD STUDIES: The Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst presents a screening of A Place at the Table (2012; rated PG) in an effort to acknowledge food security issues in the community and across the country. An apple dish will be provided, but please bring food donations. There will also be a food drive to benefit the Amherst Survival Center before and after services on October 19 and 26, as well as during the week from 10am-2pm. Kids and teens can learn about food security and issues surrounding hunger in the country at this screening. 413-253-2848. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – FARMING/HOMESCHOOL: Homeschool students ages 8 and up can come to Red Gate Farm for Homeschool Half Days most Wednesdays through November 19. Students can learn about farming at these hands-on programs, which revolve around farm activities and explorations. Students ages 12 and up will work separately on more advanced farm projects. Sign up for some or all meetings. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. $
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Parents and their preschoolers can come to the Westhampton Public Library for coffee and storytime every Wednesday. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday at 10am for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 2-3 ½ every Wednesday OR Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: It’s storytime at the Monson Free Library for kids ages 2-5! Come by for stories, snacks, crafts, and fun. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 10:30am-11am – STEM: The Berkshire Museum is offering a Parent/Child STEM Session the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Come explore science, technology, engineering, and math through books, hands-on activities, and play. Registration is required. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – NATURE STUDIES: Young kids and their parents/guardians can go on a Tyke Hike every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. These easy hikes will get young kids interested in nature and exploring the outdoors. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Toddlers can have fun at the Forbes Library every Wednesday at their toddler time program through November 5. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Preschool storyhour every Wednesday at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Ruthanne Paulson includes stories, music, movement, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:15pm – STEM: The Carnegie Library is offering a science program for homeschoolers every Wednesday through November 19. Homeschool students of all ages can come learn about science and participate in hands-on activities. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Preschool-aged kids can attend Kidleidoscope every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. This weekly program features forest-themed educational activities. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm – STORYTIME: All ages can enjoy stories and a craft at the Cushman Library‘s weekly story hour. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm – CHESS: The East Longmeadow Public Library holds a chess club for kids ages 6-14 every Wednesday afternoon. Come improve your chess skills by playing with peers of all levels. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – WRITING: Forbes Library holds a writing group for children and young adults the third Wednesday of each month. Come do some free writing, story workshopping, and do exercises to beat writer’s block. All ages welcome. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORYTIME/ARTS & CRAFTS: The North Amherst Library is offering a story and craft time for kids every Wednesday afternoon. Come by for stories, crafts, and fun. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-7:30pm – KNITTING: The Cushman Library‘s knitting group runs every Wednesday night. Come hang out with knitters of all ages and share knitting advice. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – KNITTING: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Wednesday evening for knitting group. All levels are welcome, making this is a great chance to share knitting tips and tricks with other knitters of all ages. Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime for kids ages 3-6 at the East Longmeadow Library. Runs every Wednesday evening. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for teens and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 10am-11am – NATURE STUDIES: The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is offering a preschool nature program, running from October 23 through November 13. The classes include stories, crafts, and outdoor play/exploration focused on how nature prepares for winter. This is good way to help your preschooler explore the outdoors and make new friends. A parent or guardian must accompany every two children. You may sign up for one class, or for all. More information can be found on the WRLF website. Pre-registration is required. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA. ($$ for full session)

Thursday, October 23, 2:30pm-4pm – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: First and second graders can come to the Hatfield Public Library‘s Library Club Jr. on October 21, 22, and 23. Get picked up from school and enjoy hands-on activities relating to art (10/21), science (10/22), and storytelling (10/23). Call the library for more information or to register. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 23, 5:30pm – WALKING TOUR: Ghosts & Legends of Upstreet Pittsfield. Based on the longtime local folklore project These Mysterious Hills, this colorful downtown walking tour will explore a lesser known, mysterious, and somewhat darker side of Pittsfield’s historic and cultural center. Beginning in front of the Pittsfield Common, an early city graveyard, this approximately 1.5 hour walk will delve into ghost stories, legends, lore, and strange-but-true tales attached to many Upstreet locations, including several of the city’s premiere cultural venues. Rated PG-13, may not be suitable for children under age 12. 28 Renne Ave. Pittsfield, MA (>$)

Thursday, October 23, 6pm-7pm – KARAOKE: Have some fun at the Sunderland Public Library after hours with karaoke! Teens and tweens 10-18 can come sing and challenge friends with Karaoke Revolution. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 23, 6:30pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSE: All ages can create spooky Halloween-themed gingerbread houses at the Westhampton Public Library on October 23. All materials are provided, so bring your creativity and Halloween spirit and have fun making gingerbread houses! Call to sign up. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 23, 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents of children ages 10-14 can attend the “Let’s Be Honest” workshop at Berkshire South Regional Community Center on October 23. The workshop focuses on helping parents learn how to create trusting environments with their children in which to discuss sex and sexuality. Call for more information. 413-528-2810 x30. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA.

Thursday, October 23, 7pm – WOMEN’S STUDIES/PEACE ACTIVISM: The McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives at Mt. Holyoke College presents a lecture entitled “Women’s Leadership: Ending Wars and Building Peace” with Nobel Peace Prize recipient Leymah Gbowee. Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, social worker, public speaker, and women’s rights advocate who has founded multiple organizations and initiatives that promote peace in Liberia and globally. Older students interested in peace, global studies, and women’s studies can learn from Gbowee’s lecture. Takes place in Gamble Auditorium. 413-538-2000. Lower Lake Road. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 23, 7pm – FILM/LOCAL HISTORY: Ventfort Hall presents “Ventfort Films: A Berkshire Connection,” a series focusing on films that are in some way connected to the Berkshires. This week, come see Before and After (1996; rated PG-13), which was filmed in the Berkshires and is set in western Massachusetts. This screening may appeal to older teens interested in film and local history. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $)

Thursday, October 23, 7:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School presents their fall theater production, All My Sons. The play is about Joe Keller and Herbert Deever, who ran a machine shop that made airplane parts for military planes during World War II. The shop sent out defective parts, and Deever went to prison, while Keller was exonerated. The play follows these parallel stories and what happens to the men and their families later on. The play is best for older students who are interested in theater and history. Tickets available in advance. 413-529-3000. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. $

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a weekly playgroup at the Richmond Consolidated School. 413-464-5095. 1831 State Road. Richmond, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – MOVEMENT: The Millers Falls Library is offering a music and movement group for young children and their caregivers every Thursday through December 18. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Gateway Family Center is offering a drop-in “Baby Steps” program for infants 0-1 years, as well as their siblings and caregivers. Runs every Thursday. 413-667-2203 x3. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE at the Berkshire Athenaeum for a weekly Play and Learn group. 413-499-4809. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 2-3 ½ every Wednesday OR Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday! There will be snacks, stories, and crafts. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: The Jones Library will offer a preschool storytime every Thursday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Hatfield Public Library holds a storytime for kids 5 and under every Thursday! Come to the library for stories and fun. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 11am-11:45am – STORYTIME/ARTS & CRAFTS: The Lenox Library is offering Story Craft for kids ages 3-5, with stories and crafts. This program follows the school district schedule. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 3 ½-5 every Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-3pm – PLAYGROUP: Babies can have fun and make friends at the Forbes Library‘s weekly baby playgroup. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday at Gaylord Memorial Library‘s game and LEGO night! Stop by for board games, puzzles, LEGOs, and more. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 4:30-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/MOVIE: The Amherst Survival Center serves a free community meal every Thursday and screens a film for the community to enjoy together. Bring your family and come enjoy an evening with your community while learning about the work of the ASC! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm – SKILLSHARE/CRAFT GROUP: The Haberdashery holds a Chat ‘n Do every Thursday at 5:30pm. Bring a project you are working on and chat with others, hash out ideas, ask advice, offer tips, and more. This is a good opportunity for intergenerational skill sharing! 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm & 6:30pm – KARATE: Free shotokan karate classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at Northfield Elementary School. There are two classes – one for 7-10 year olds (5:30pm-6:15pm) and one for teens and adults (6:30pm-7:30pm). More info available here. 802-451-0303. 104 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm – KNITTING: Spruce up your knitting skills and spend time with community members of all ages at the Dickinson Memorial Library‘s knitting group every Thursday evening. All skill levels are welcome. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$

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Friday, October 24th, 2014

Friday, October 24, 9am-3:30pm – PARENT/TEACHER WORKSHOP: Community Resources for People with Autism presents a lecture by Dr. Jed Baker – “All Kids Can Succeed: Effective Interventions for Behavioral and Social Challenges” at the Hadley Farms Meeting House on October 24. Professionals, teachers, and administrators, as well as families and individuals with autism, are welcome to attend this event, which focuses on creating positive learning environments for students with autism. If you are interested in attending, please register ASAP – the event is likely to sell out! 413-529-2428. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. $$$

Friday, October 24, 12:15pm – FOOD HISTORY: Rob Cox will speak during the Amherst Historical Society & Museum’s History Bites Lunchtime Lecture Series. Students interested in history through food will enjoy, “Cranberry Culture: A Short History of a Tart Fruit.” Cox will present the history of cranberries in New England, from taming the wild fruit through the growth of an industry to the labor and environmental struggles of the 20th century. Lecture is open to all. Homeschool teens, self-directed & life-long learners welcomed. 67 Amity St. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Friday, October 24, 1pm-3pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: Berkshire County home school families are invited to a Halloween party at the Pinegrove Park Pavilion! This not-scary Halloween party will feature a costume parade, candy, craft, games, and playground play. Please bring a snack or drink to share, as well as a bag of candy, if possible. This is a great way to celebrate Halloween and meet other home school families! Email monicabliss@aol.com for more information or to register for the craft activity. High Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 24, 2pm-5:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Are you getting excited for Halloween? Whitney’s Farm Market will be holding Pumpkin Fest every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 26th! Stop by for u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, and much more. Pumpkin Fest is fun for the whole family and will you get into the Halloween spirit. 413-442-4749. 1775 S State Road. Cheshire, MA.

Friday, October 24, 5pm-8pm – ENCHANTED FOREST: The Hitchcock Center’s Enchanted Forest event takes place October 24 and 25. This exciting event takes you through the Hitchcock Center’s grounds on a non-scary tour with the theme of “Sounds of the Night.” Creatures will emerge to share stories and teach you about themselves while you explore the woods and celebrate Halloween. The event fills up quickly, so please register for a walk time ASAP! 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. $

Friday, October 24, 5:30pm-7pm – PUMPKIN CARVING: Help the Hitchcock Center get ready for their Enchanted Forest event, which takes place October 24 and 25, by helping to carve pumpkins. This is a fun family-oriented community service event! 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Friday, October 24, 5:30pm-7:30pm – HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: The Hampshire Regional YMCA‘s gymnastics team is hosting a Haunted Gymnastics Carnival in the gym on October 24. There will be booths, a bake sale, face painting, games, gymnastics performances, and more. Fun for the whole family! 413-584-7086. 286 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. >$

Friday, October 24, 5:30pm-8:30pm – HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE: Look Park’s train becomes haunted this Halloween season! Kids 5 and up can enjoy this fun and spooky haunted train ride around the park. Cancelled in case of rain. Runs 10/17-10/19 and 10/24-10/26. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. >$

Friday, October 24, 5:45pm & 7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: You may know about Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, but did you know that it’s considered to be haunted? Come see for yourself on one of The Mount’s ghost tours. The tour will take you through the stables and the main house, where you will learn about and even witness the property’s haunted creaks and footsteps. Not recommended for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 413-551-5100. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. $$

Friday, October 24, 6pm-8pm – SPOOKY SAFARI: The Zoo in Forest Park hosts an evening of trick or treat for families in a fun and safe environment. Come in costume and stop around the zoo for sweet treats, games, raffles, prizes, and more. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

Friday, October 24, 6:30pm-8pm – CEMETERY TOUR: The Longmeadow Historical Society is hosting “Ghosts in the Graveyard,” a cemetery tour with a focus on Longmeadow’s history. Bring a flashlight and the kids and learn about local history as you tour the Longmeadow Cemetery while members of the LHS share stories of historical figures who have lived in the area and have been laid to rest. 413-567-3600. Williams Street. Longmeadow, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Friday, October 24, 6:45pm – HALLOWEEN: Get dressed up in your Halloween costume and come to a fun sing-a-long with Roger Tincknell at the Rotary Pavilion in Mittineague Park! Kids will receive a free Halloween treat after the show. 413-781-3020. 1695 Westfield Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 24, 7pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School presents their fall theater production, All My Sons. The play is about Joe Keller and Herbert Deever, who ran a machine shop that made airplane parts for military planes during World War II. The shop sent out defective parts, and Deever went to prison, while Keller was exonerated. The play follows these parallel stories and what happens to the men and their families later on. The play is best for older students who are interested in theater and history. Tickets available in advance. 413-529-3000. 19 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA. $

Friday, October 24, 7pm – WALKING TOUR: Ghosts & Legends of Upstreet Pittsfield. Based on the longtime local folklore project These Mysterious Hills, this colorful downtown walking tour will explore a lesser known, mysterious, and somewhat darker side of Pittsfield’s historic and cultural center. Beginning in front of the Pittsfield Common, an early city graveyard, this approximately 1.5 hour walk will delve into ghost stories, legends, lore, and strange-but-true tales attached to many Upstreet locations, including several of the city’s premiere cultural venues. Rated PG-13, may not be suitable for children under age 12. 28 Renne Ave. Pittsfield, MA (>$)

Friday, October 24, 7pm – THEATER: Ja’Duke Productions presents a performance of The Addams Family this October. This musical comedy is based on the comic strip, television shows, and film of the same name. Come enjoy this musical about the typical yet unconventional Addams Family! Tickets available in advance. 413-863-0001. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. $

Friday, October 24, 7:30pm-11pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CULTURAL STUDIES: Join Montague Common Hall for a Scottish concert with musicians Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante. They will perform Scottish music, as well as a song with the Leverett Community Chorus. This concert is great for community members who enjoy Scottish music or who want to hear some live! Call to reserve tickets. 413-548-9860. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA. $$

Friday, October 24, 8pm – THEATER: The Exit 7 Players present a production of Young Frankenstein, based on the hilarious movie by Mel Brooks, in honor of Halloween. The movie the play is based on is rated PG-13, so this performance may not be appropriate for kids 13 and under. Tickets available in advance. 413-583-4301. 37 Chestnut Street. Ludlow, MA. $$

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

11:30am-12:30pm – PRENATAL YOGA: Open to all trimesters and all levels of yoga experience. No registration necessary. For info visit HRYMCA website or call Courtney at 413-303-1246. Hampshire Regional YMCA, 286 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA ($10 for non-members, free for HRYMCA members)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents’ Center hosts a weekly playgroup in Hadley every Friday at Whole Children. 413-582-2636. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Friday at Lanesborough Town Hall. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: The Chicopee Public Library holds a weekly Music and Movement program for kids ages 5 and under every Friday. Come have fun moving, singing, and dancing. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Young kids can attend a weekly storyhour at the Pelham Library every Friday. Come enjoy stories and crafts. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers can attend storytime every Friday at Griswold Memorial Library. Come for stories, crafts, and a snack. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Parents/caregivers and their babies, ages 0-15 months, can come to “Welcome Baby” every Friday at the Storrs Library. This program, run by Pathways for Parents, is all about the importance of reading, music, and interactive play. Call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 12noon-1pm – CLOTH DIAPERS: Simple Diaper and Linen is offering a Cloth Diaper 101 workshop at Life Works Studio. Come learn the ins and outs of cloth diapering and get information on Simple Diaper and Linen’s new diaper service in Southern Berkshire County. 413-749-6232. 50 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Families can attend the “Family Frolic Storytime” every Friday at Gaylord Memorial Library! Enjoy stories, musical plays, and crafts. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-6 can come to the Sunderland Public Library for stories, songs, finger plays, and crafts every Friday morning. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years. It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer! Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – BOOK GROUP: 2nd and 3rd graders who love reading can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s Kid Book Club every Friday. Kids can hang out together, recommend books to one another, do book-related activities, and enjoy a pizza dinner. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – BOOK GROUP: Tweens in grades 4-6 can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s B-Tween the Lines Book Club every Friday. Kids can hang out together, recommend books to one another, do book-related activities, write reviews, interview authors, and enjoy a pizza dinner. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$
  • 8pm – ASTRONOMY: The Milham Planetarium at Williams College will be open to the public for a planetarium viewing every Friday through December 5. You can learn about the motions of the planets, the phases of the moon, comets, and much more! Reservations recommended. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Cummington, Deerfield, Goshen, Plainfield, Shelburne and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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